campusfork-logoCampusFork.com features seductive and compelling restaurant food photos that offers a unique experience for prospective diners and marketing opportunities for restaurateurs. Rayfil Wong, an American Born Chinese San Francisco native, created CampusFork by fusing elements of HotOrNot.com with Flickr.com, allowing users and restaurant owners to upload provocative food images. Wong, who describes himself as an “accidental” entrepreneur, discovered love through his unique food porn concept. “I found that a great way to ask a girl out on a date was to entice her with food,” he says. How? He sent photos of sushi and a message: “Let’s grab Sushi this Friday.” This immediately piqued her interest – in both Wong and his innovative Web site, CampusFork.com.

A San Francisco native, Wong self funded CampusFork.com in his bedroom with only $6,000 in savings.  Today, he remains the sole full time
employee and has bootstrapped the company through self funding from both savings and bartering services.  More importantly, Wong outsourced all of his Web development needs to a virtual team of five in Romania, whom he has never met in person.  Most food photos are from international cities such a San Francisco, New York, and Hong Kong but have extended to over sixty cities.

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If you’ve ever seen a picture of 小笼包 (xiao long bao) and then started to crave it (I know I have!), you’ve been aroused by food porn. CampusFork.com is one of the first websites to provide patrons with these seductive, realistic restaurant food photos to help them select where and what to eat. “A picture is worth a thousand words” has never been more true, since photos give the Web site users a visual clue about ingredients, portion size, and food presentation, which helps them make choices.

CampusFork not only benefits “foodies” but also restaurants. Simply by uploading quality food pictures, restaurant owners can gain free marketing exposure and have their restaurant food photos be submitted to search engines. This is a simple, effective, and free solution to entrepreneurs’ marketing needs. One significant drawback to small, local, traditional and/or ethnic restaurants is the lack of high quality images of the food offered. Often I run go to local restaurants in Puxi where I depend on my local Shanghainese friends to help me order the best dishes since I don’t speak Shanghainese nor fully understand the menus. Chinese names of food don’t exactly translate well into English. With CampusFork, I can just walk into a restaurant and point to the pictures of the food I want to eat on my smartphone. CampusFork can be my online menu for local restaurants where I may be at a disadvantage to ordering the best dishes!

“Photos speak a thousand words and can sometimes land you more than just a good meal idea,” Wong said, thus showing us that CampusFork.com is not just a great marketing tool, but a great social tool as well.